Here’s a question rarely asked, at least in Washington: Why should ever-increasing homeownership be a policy goal? How many people should own homes, anyway?
Although it’s rarely put this way, borrowing to buy a home is like buying stocks on margin: if the market value of the house falls, the buyer can easily lose his or her entire stake.
This isn’t a hypothetical worry.
And now, for your daily Simpsons reference, from "Trash of the Titans":
% Later, in Moe's bar, Homer moans about his problems.
Homer: [melancholy] My campaign is a disaster, Moe.
Homer: [angry] I hate the public so much!
Homer: [melancholy] If only they'd elect me.
Homer: [angry] I'd make 'em pay!
Homer: [melancholy] Aw, Moe, how do I make 'em like me?
Moe: Eh, gee, you're kind of all over the place, Homer, you need to focus here. You gotta...think hard, and come up with a slogan that appeals to all the lazy slobs out there.
Homer: [moans] Can't someone else do it?
Moe: "Can't someone else do it?", that's perfect!
Homer: It is?
Moe: Yeah! Now get out there and spread that message to the people!
Homer: Woo hoo! [walks off]
Moe: Woah, hey, you didn't pay for the beer.
Homer: "Can't someone else do it?"
[Moe and Homer laugh together. As Homer starts to leave the tavern, Moe cocks and points a shotgun at him and clears his throat.]
Moe: Seriously, give me the money.
It's doubly relevant:
In all his speeches, John McCain urges Americans to make sacrifices for a country that is both “an idea and a cause”.
He is not asking them to suffer anything he would not suffer himself.
But many voters would rather not suffer at all.